Cincinnati Reds – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-08-16T21:40:42Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/14/18]]> 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z 2018-08-14T04:10:06Z There are quite a few minor moves to cover, with Baseball America’s Matt Eddy releasing several weeks’ worth of transactions. We’ll use this post to cover the most notable ones that haven’t yet featured on MLBTR:

  • The Angels released outfielder Ben Revere, who could perhaps be an interesting player to target for contending clubs that like the idea of adding a good defender and baserunning threat to their system. Revere, 30, hasn’t seen the majors this year after seven-straight seasons of action at the game’s highest level. He’s slashing .277/.319/.406 with a pair of steals through 166 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • Ending a relationship that never seemed to work out, the Dodgers have cut loose infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena. Now 28, the former international signee hadn’t played much in the club’s system since he was suspended in May of 2016.
  • The Phillies have released a pair of former big leaguers: infielder Danny Espinosa and outfielder Adron Chambers. Espinosa’s always fickle bat has not yet recovered from a 2017 nosedive. In 240 Triple-A plate appearances with three organizations this year, he owns a .295/.239/.312 slash. Chambers, meanwhile, hasn’t seen the majors since 2013 and last played affiliated ball in 2015, but came back from an indy stint to produce a .278/.328/.437 batting line in 138 Triple-A plate appearances.
  • A host of players received their walking papers from the Diamondbacks. Righty Brian Ellington is among them; the flamethrower struggled badly with his command in limited minor-league action. Southpaw Anthony Vasquez was also released after after 85 2/3 innings of 5.04 ERA ball in the upper minors. The club also dropped several outfielders. Cesar Puello (.317/.426/.454) and Dan Robertson (.263/.361/.407) are both former big leaguers who were getting on base at Reno, but will now seek other opportunities.
  • The Giants released two notable players in righty Chris Heston and backstop Ryan Hanigan. Heston, 30, only made nine appearances in the minors this year owing to injury. Hanigan, who’s closing in on his 38th birthday, is still looking to crack the majors for the 12th-straight season but did not help his cause with a .175/.254/.193 batting line in 63 plate appearances at Triple-A.
  • The Cubs parted with Ryan Webb after he made just 11 appearances at the Rookie ball level. It is not immediately clear why the 32-year-old did not get a shot in the upper minors, or what’s next for him In eight seasons of MLB pitching, from 2009 through 2016, Webb owns a 3.43 ERA through 393 1/3 innings.
  • A variety of other former major-league relief pitchers were also on the move. Among them: The White Sox signed once-promising Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera. Righty Dallas Beeler was released by the Royals. A trio of former MLB lefties are back in free agency after being cut free: Elvis Araujo (Orioles); Paco Rodriguez (Twins); and Dario Alvarez (Mariners).
  • Meanwhile, the Mariners parted with outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Nationals did the same with Alejandro De Aza. One-time Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston landed with the Reds.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Scooter Gennett Still Hopes To Land Extension]]> 2018-08-12T02:32:40Z 2018-08-12T01:07:10Z Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett was pushing for a contract extension back in May, but no deal has come together since. Nevertheless, the 28-year-old – who’s only controllable for another season – told Bill Ladson of this week that he remains hopeful he’ll continue his career in his hometown of Cincinnati. Asked whether he’d still like an extension, Gennett said: “Yeah. For me not to have an extension — I don’t think would make a whole lot of sense for it to not to happen at some point. What I’m willing to do for this team, for the fans in Cincinnati and being from Cincinnati, it’s kind of the perfect formula for me.” Gennett spoke more about his future Saturday, saying (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer):  “I just feel like we’re kind of reaching that point where we’re going to start having talks. But like I said, when we do, I’m not going to be sharing that information.” The Reds were skeptical of extending Gennett off a career-best 2017, according to the player, though he has done his best this season to show that performance wasn’t a fluke. Overall, since the Reds claimed Gennett off waivers from the division-rival Brewers prior to last season, he has slashed an excellent .304/.352/.512 with 44 home runs and 5.8 fWAR in 961 plate appearances.

Here’s more from baseball’s Central divisions:

  • Speaking with Paul Hoynes of and other reporters on Saturday, Indians manager Terry Francona revealed that designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion could be headed for the disabled list. Encarnacion, who’s dealing with an injured left biceps, had an MRI on Saturday and visited with a hand specialist, Hoynes writes. The 35-year-old has also battled a bone bruise in his right hand, which likely helps explain his so-so production to this point. One of the game’s biggest offensive threats from 2012-17, Encarnacion has only posted a .229/.317/.461 line (108 wRC+) this year, though he has continued to show off serious power with 25 home runs and a .232 ISO. [Update: The Indians have indeed placed Encarnacion on the DL, Hoynes tweets. The club’s recalling infielder Yandy Diaz from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.]
  • Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is closing in on a rehab assignment, per Jason Beck of Fulmer, out since July 20 with a left oblique strain, threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Saturday. Regardless of whether the 25-year-old returns in 2018, with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline having passed, he no longer looks like a candidate to end up on the move this season. Fulmer had been popular in the rumor mill until hitting the DL, and if he comes back this year and performs well, he’ll surely be a target for teams over the winter.
  • Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly is holding out for a September return, Jesse Rogers of reports. Smyly, a former Tiger, Ray and Mariner whom the Cubs signed to a two-year, $10MM guarantee in December, continues to work back from the Tommy John procedure he underwent last June. The 29-year-old hasn’t taken a major league mound since Sept. 26, 2016.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Purchase Courney Hawkins' Contract From Sugar Land Skeeters]]> 2018-08-11T22:40:06Z 2018-08-11T22:39:36Z
  • The Reds purchased the contract of outfielder Courtney Hawkins from the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Friday, the Skeeters announced. Hawkins, who will report to High-A Daytona with the Reds, is best known for going 13th overall to the White Sox in the 2012 draft. Now 24, Hawkins stayed with the Chicago organization into this past April, when it released him after he failed to get past the Double-A level.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Reds Owner Castellini "A Big Fan" Of Jim Riggleman]]> 2018-08-10T17:27:25Z 2018-08-10T17:27:25Z
  • Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman’s chances of winning the full-time job look to be increasing, as team owner Bob Castellini is reportedly “a big fan” of the veteran skipper.  Cincinnati has posted a 47-50 record since Riggleman took over from Bryan Price, who was fired after the Reds stumbled out of the gate with a 3-15 start to the season.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Central Notes: Martin, Cutch, Bucs, Hamilton, Carpenter]]> 2018-08-09T18:46:02Z 2018-08-09T15:42:01Z The Indians announced today that recently acquired center fielder Leonys Martin is headed to the 10-day DL owing to a stomach ailment. It’s unclear at this point how long he’ll be sidelined,’s Jordan Bastian adds on Twitter. The club will surely hope the issue resolves itself in short order, as Martin is expected to play a significant role in the team’s outfield rotation down the stretch and into the postseason. The 30-year-old had been off to a productive start in his first six games in Cleveland.

    Here’s more from the central divisions …

    • Bob Nightengale of USA Today took an interesting angle on the Pirates’ deadline moves recently, discussing them with former star Andrew McCutchen. The veteran outfielder, who was dealt to the Giants in the winter, said he was surprised that the Pittsburgh organization decided that this was the summer to push hard for improvements. It’s an interesting story, particularly for fans of these two clubs, in no small part because McCutchen discusses the feeling within the clubhouse of going through the trade deadline. Referring to his past experiences with the Bucs, he explained: “We felt we had a good team to compete, but then you see other teams making those moves, getting the key pieces to their team to make them stronger, and you feel like, “Dang, we’ve got to do something, too.'”
    • In a recent post with notes on several ballclubs, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic presents one potential explanation for the timing of the Pirates’ moves. (Subscription link.) He writes that an executive with another team posits that the acquisitions of Chris Archer and Keone Kela were driven in some part by the team’s slumping attendance. That’s not the case, per president Frank Coonelly, who says instead the swaps were made out of a “desire to improve the club for this 2018 stretch run and for the next several years.” Coonelly also cited prospect depth as a factor that enabled the maneuvers. That certainly seems to be a fair explanation, but there’s also little doubt that the team has an eye on the bottom line as well. As Rosenthal writes, perhaps there’s some evidence here of “the power of a disgruntled fan base to effect change.”
    • As Rosenthal further reports in that post, the Reds’ decisionmaking on center fielder Billy Hamilton continues to be influenced by the views of owner Bob Castellini, who has gone on record as a proponent of the exceedingly speedy but light-hitting player. Hamilton didn’t feature as a particularly likely August trade candidate regardless, though perhaps there’s some hypothetical plausibility to such a scenario. But the report suggests the organization may still be rather reluctant to part with the 27-year-old, who is set to enter his final season of arbitration eligibility after earning $4.6MM this year. Perhaps there’s still a way the front office can make this all work in a sensible manner. Hamilton, after all, is a useful MLB player — he’s a great defender and baserunner, and has at least been somewhat better historically against right-handed pitching — who is simply miscast in an everyday role. He could still make sense on what’s hoped to be a competitive 2019 roster, at least if the organization makes a supplemental addition in center and commits to leaning less heavily on Hamilton.
    • It seems like it was just yesterday we were preaching patience in response to chat questions from irate Cardinals fans about Matt Carpenter’s struggles. But a turnaround of this magnitude remains a surprise. As things stand, he’s among the most productive hitters in baseball — even including his meager opening performance — with a .281/.393/.598 slash and 31 home runs through 476 plate appearances. It’s a fascinating situation for a variety of reasons, to be sure. Carpenter himself evidently feels that way, too, as’s Joe Trezza tweets. “It’s just not who I am,” says the 32-year-old Carpenter of his exploits. “It’s not who I was. It’s not the hitter I’ve ever been. I’m developing into somebody I’ve never dreamt of or tried to be like. I don’t have an explanation for it.”
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reds Sign Tim Federowicz]]> 2018-08-08T17:43:31Z 2018-08-08T17:43:31Z The Reds have signed backstop Tim Federowicz to a minors deal, per the transactions page (h/t to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). Indeed, the veteran has been with the organization for a few days already and is active at Triple-A.

    Federowicz, who recently turned 31, spent some time in the majors this year with the Astros, but was cut loose in late July. This represented the seventh campaign in which he has seen some MLB action. Overall, Federowicz is a .197/.244/.311 hitter in 353 plate appearances at the game’s highest level.

    Despite those struggles in limited opportunities with the bat in the majors, Federowicz has been a productive hitter at times in the upper minors. Indeed, he has produced .800+ OPS marks in each of the past three years at the Triple-A level. In 151 plate appearances at the Astros’ top affiliate this season, he produced a hefty .328/.404/.560 batting line.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Scott Schebler May Not Return Until September]]> 2018-08-05T19:00:32Z 2018-08-05T19:00:13Z
  • Meanwhile, Reds outfielder Scott Schebler is dealing with his own right shoulder troubles, and they may shelve him until September, manager Jim Riggleman announced (via Kyle Melnick of Schebler went on the DL on July 15 with a sprained AC joint, and even though the Reds activated him Friday when his 20-day rehab stint ended, he’s still unable to throw properly. Schebler had been in the midst of a fine season before going on the DL, with a .278/.351/.470 line and 12 homers in 299 plate appearances.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Hunter Greene Diagnosed With Sprained UCL]]> 2018-08-03T21:07:07Z 2018-08-03T20:56:21Z Top Reds prospect Hunter Greene has been diagnosed with a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, the team announced. He won’t pitch again this season.

    For the time being, Greene is slated to attempt to rehab the injury. The announcement indicates that he’ll report to the organization’s Spring Training facility and be monitored “throughout the offseason.” Perhaps the hope is that he’ll be ready to ramp up fully in camp next year.

    It seems promising that the organization feels it’s worth pursuing a rehab rather than a surgical route. The club has not specified the grade of the strain. Obviously, any UCL injury raises the specter of the famous Tommy John procedure, but there’s no indication that it’s a consideration at this point in Greene’s case and plenty of pitchers have made it back from the injury without going under the knife.

    Greene, who’s closing in on his 19th birthday, was the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. The high-powered righty rose to 18th on’s mid-season ranking of the top prospects in baseball. In eighteen starts this year, he compiled a 4.48 ERA with 11.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 68 1/3 innings at the Class A level.

    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Matt Harvey Remaining With Reds]]> 2018-07-31T20:40:27Z 2018-07-31T18:00:03Z Matt Harvey will be staying with the Reds despite a flurry of trade discussions, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.  In my opinion, Harvey remains a candidate to be traded in August.

    Earlier Updates:

    • The Giants have “entered the fray” for Harvey, tweets Jon Heyman of’s Mark Feinsand finds the Giants unlikely for Harvey, however.
    • Reds beat writer Bobby Nightengale Jr., reporting for the Cincinnati Enquirer, would be surprised if Harvey isn’t traded today.  Nightengale tweets that the Brewers and Braves have shown interest.  He’s backed up by his father, Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who says the Braves have been Harvey’s most aggressive suitor.  Nightengale Sr. also adds that the Chris Archer trade talks are slowing down the Harvey discussions, suggesting Harvey is a Plan B for some Archer suitors.
    • On the other hand, Jon Heyman of Fancred says Harvey is not likely for the Braves, while the Brewers and Cubs are “among the main teams in the mix.”  Similarly, David O’Brien of The Athletic hears the Braves are not in on Harvey.  Harvey wouldn’t seem to have an opening in the Cubs’ rotation, unless perhaps Yu Darvish’s injury issues persist and Mike Montgomery is moved back to the bullpen.  ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears the same interested parties as Heyman, regarding the Brewers and Cubs.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Braves Acquire Adam Duvall From Reds For Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, Preston Tucker]]> 2018-07-31T06:36:05Z 2018-07-31T02:53:17Z The Braves have acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from the Reds in exchange for a trio of players, all of whom have MLB experience. Cincinnati receives righties Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler along with outfielder Preston Tucker. At first glance, it’s something of a swap of unwanted assets, as both teams clearly had different plans with their roster spots.

    For the Atlanta organization, this represents an easily justifiable roll of the dice on Duvall. As he closes in on his 30th birthday, Duvall is stuck in a rough campaign. But he has huge power — he topped thirty bombs in each of the past two seasons — and also grades out as a high-end defender in left field.

    In the near-term, Duvall will bolster the current outfield mix. Even if he isn’t able to boost his productivity at the plate all that much, he has been much better against left-handed pitching this season and over his career. The opposite is true of struggling Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte, who could give way to phenom Ronald Acuna up the middle when the situation calls for it.

    There’s also some future value here for the Braves to hope for. Duvall is heading into arbitration this fall for the first time. While he’ll likely be relatively expensive given his lofty home run rate and ample playing time in recent seasons, he could still be quite a valuable asset. With Nick Markakis headed to free agency, the organization does need corner outfield options.

    First, though, Duvall will have to sort himself out. Through 370 plate appearances this season, he has an even 100 strikeouts. While his walk rate is up to a career-high 9.2%, Duvall is carrying a .286 OBP on the season and owns a piddling .294 lifetime mark. Believers in Statcast data will certainly note that the slugger has a promising .349 xwOBA to date on the year, far superior to the .295 wOBA he has actually produced.

    Though this swap may not bring the promise of a massive near-term upgrade, it’s a clever means of improving the roster both now and in the future. It is somewhat more difficult to understand the move from the Reds’ perspective, unless one presumes that the club simply decided it wished to part ways with Duvall and that this was the time to do so.

    Indeed, Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams says that one aspect of the deal was a desire to go in another direction in the corner outfield, as C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic tweets. Jesse Winker may be out for the rest of this season, but he’ll now presumptively line up across from Scott Schebler next year. That leaves unanswered what the team will do up the middle with Billy Hamilton, who continues to run and defend with aplomb while barely hitting at all.

    It’s a bit of a curious return for Duvall — who, to be fair, likely wasn’t drawing many strong prospect offers — but one that probably appeals more to the Reds than it would to just about any other organization. All three players acquired will require 40-man spots, yet none has carved out a permanent MLB job to this point despite receiving some opportunities to do so.

    Perhaps one’s view of the swap hinges upon how you view the arms that are going to Cincinnati. For the Braves, both were simply upper-level depth pieces who were likely to be squeezed out as rising talents reach the majors or require Rule 5 draft protection. For a Reds organization whose pitching rebuilding effort hasn’t been quite as promising, either or both could perhaps become sources of affordable, useful innings.

    The 24-year-old Sims, a 2012 first-rounder, has struggled through twenty MLB outings (including ten starts) over the past two seasons. He has spent most of the present season at Triple-A, where carries a 2.84 ERA with 10.2 K9 and 4.2 BB/9 over 73 innings. As for Wisler, 25, he has limped to a 5.27 ERA in 324 2/3 lifetime MLB frames. The former top prospect has posted a nice combination of 8.4 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 at Triple-A this year, but owns only a 4.37 ERA in seventy innings there.

    For the time being, Tucker will help fill the opening created by the trade itself. He could in theory be a future reserve piece for the Reds, but he hits from the left side of the plate — an attribute he shares with all of the above-cited Cincinnati outfielders. The 28-year-old hit well in his run in the majors this year, posting a slighly-above-average .256/.307/.444 slash in 127 plate appearances, but has struggled in limited action at Triple-A.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds' Talks For Harvey Not Gaining Much Traction]]> 2018-07-30T19:58:05Z 2018-07-30T19:58:05Z
  • The Reds haven’t gotten that much traction in their trade talks surrounding Matt Harvey, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman adds that the team feels Harvey has been a model teammate and may just hang onto him if no suitable offers crop up, though he also notes that that line of thinking could be mere posturing on the Reds’ behalf. Fancred’s Jon Heyman, meanwhile, tweets that outfielder Adam Duvall’s name continues to bounce around the rumor circuit, calling him and Harvey the two likeliest Reds to move. Heyman notes that the Reds would need to be “blown away” to move closer Raisel Iglesias, which largely lines up with previous reports that the Reds believe they can be significantly more competitive in 2019 despite a dearth of quality starting pitching.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Outright Kyle Crockett]]> 2018-07-29T21:59:03Z 2018-07-29T21:59:03Z
  • The Reds announced that left-hander Kyle Crockett was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville after clearing waivers. Cincinnati designated the 26-year-old for assignment Friday after he threw 9 1/3 innings with the club. Crockett allowed six earned runs on a whopping 16 hits in that span, but he also struck out 11 batters and issued only two walks. He’ll now return to Louisville, where he has pitched to a 4.00 ERA/3.24 FIP with 7.67 K/9 and 1.67 BB/9 in 27 innings this season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Matt Harvey's Market]]> 2018-07-29T18:31:02Z 2018-07-29T18:09:45Z
  • Meanwhile, ex-Met and current Reds righty Matt Harvey is likely to move by Tuesday, per Feinsand. Harvey has pitched better in Cincinnati than he did in New York this season, but the soon-to-be free agent still hasn’t come close to replicating his halcyon days. As a result, teams aren’t showing much excitement over the 29-year-old, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic relays.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Billy Hamilton On Indians' "Radar"]]> 2018-07-29T13:29:01Z 2018-07-28T23:43:04Z Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson, Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton and Marlins utilityman Derek Dietrich are on the Indians’ “radar”, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Either Granderson or Hamilton would add a much-needed upgrade to Cleveland’s outfield, which lost Tyler Naquin to the disabled list Saturday, while Dietrich may be able to help both at the keystone and in the outfield. Dietrich has spent the majority of his career at second base, but the 29-year-old – who happens to be a Cleveland native – has amassed 84 appearances in left field this season. Dietrich’s amid his best offensive season, having hit .283/.348/.454 with 13 home runs in 388 plate appearances.


    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Reds Designate Kyle Crockett]]> 2018-07-27T19:30:07Z 2018-07-27T19:30:07Z The Reds have designated southpaw Kyle Crockett, the club announced. That move, along with the optioning of righty Austin Brice, allowed the club to promote southpaw Wandy Peralta and right-hander Keury Mella.

    Crockett, 26, had recorded 11 strikeouts while issuing only one walk in his 9 1/3 MLB innings this year. Of course, he was also touched for six earned runs on 16 base knocks. He has seen scattered action over each of the past five MLB campaigns, holding same-handed-hitters to a cumulative .640 OPS but surrendering a .862 mark to opposing righty bats.